A 40th-anniversary New Jersey show

The Restored Rusty Relics automobile club of New Jersey is now, for the first time, taking on-line pre-registrations for its annual show — the 40th annual show.

The Relics attract around 400 classic cars per year, with a floating “25 years or older” requirement which means that, this year, the 1993s are welcome. Cars from 1927 or earlier can pre-register for free. 2018 brings more trophy classes, but the show is in the same place as the last two years — at Bergen Community College in Paramus. It runs from 8 am through 3 pm. [Link]

Motorcycles are welcome at the show. There will be food and drinks and a DJ. Spectator admission is $5 (for the first time, spectators can come in for $10/car.)

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Coming to America: this Chinese SUV

GAC — Guangzhou Automobile Group — has been making cars with Fiat Chrysler for some time. Now, they want to make cars just for you, with the GS7 SUV appearing on American shores in 2019.

Chinese companies have been selling directly in Europe for some time, with limited success. There have been rumors for years of Chinese cars to sell in the United States, but so far none have shown up under their own name — a Chinese company did buy Volvo, and you can get Chinese-made Volvos and Buicks today, but GAC may be the first to sell under their own name.

GAC has a technology lab in California already, and plans to set up a development center in or near Detroit, and a design studio in Los Angeles. The company may sell through Fiat Chrysler outlets.… Read the rest

2019 silverado

GM, Ram may have diesel launches at the same time

Just this week, GM announced that it would build a new six-cylinder diesel for its Silverado 1500. The next day, Ram launched the new 1500 — with no mention of the V6 diesel option.

Recent events have clarified the situation. Ram’s chief said that the diesel would appear later in the 2019 model year, and GM, today, said they had chosen a factory for the diesel — meaning it’s considerably further off than one would have assumed.

Ram is widely expected to start production of its new pickups this month; for GM, it’s months in the future. The difference here is that GM is following the auto-industry tradition of unveiling long before product is ready (which does prevent leaks), while FCA has been moving its unveilings closer and closer to actual production.

Who will get a diesel to market first is still up for grabs; FCA and VM are presumably tinkering with their diesel to overcome emissions issues, while GM is still going to tool up a plant.… Read the rest

2019 Ram 1500

The second shoe drops: 2019 Ram vs Silverado

Yesterday, Chevrolet dropped the first shoe — the 2019 Silverado — and today, Ram dropped the second — the 2019 Ram 1500.

What’s surprising is how much they have in common.

Both extended their length by four inches, used more high-strength steel in their frames, and cut weight — though Chevrolet took off over 400 pounds, and Ram only dropped 225, possibly because Chevrolet was more aggressive with the use of aluminum body panels (for the doors, tailgate, and hood); both increased their high-strength steel body content. Chevrolet used more aluminum in the suspension, while Ram used hollow stabilizer bars and composite upper control arms.

Chevrolet’s headline feature was having six engines, ranging from a 3-liter straight-six diesel to a 6.2 liter V8, with an optional ten-speed automatic. Ram made the eight-speed automatic standard across the board, and while they only showed two gasoline engines (the diesel was conspicuously absent), there are actually three powertrains now because the Hemi is available with or without a motor boost.… Read the rest

Honda, Volvo, Lincoln win NACTOY

The Honda Accord, Volvo XC60 and Lincoln Navigator have won top honors as the North American car, truck and utility vehicles of the year in Detroit.

The NACTOY awards, which fashion themselves as the Oscars of the automotive industry, are decided by ballot by 61 media jurors in the U.S. and Canada. The 2018 awards were the 24th announced at the North American International Auto Show.

The winnrs surprised some; the 10th-generation Accord beat the Toyota Camry and the Kia Stinger, the latter of which seemed to be the favourite among the 2,000 spectators at the award at the kick off of the media days at the Detroit auto show at 8 a.m. Monday.

The Volvo beat out the Alfa Romeo Stelvio and the Honda Odyssey for utility vehicle of the year. The Lincoln beat out its own stablemate the Ford Expedition and the Chevy Colorado ZR2 for truck of the year.… Read the rest

Ford shows new Mustang Bullitt, Ranger

The Ford Motor Company rolled out a new version of the famous Mustang Bullitt today in Detroit for the 50th anniversary of the car made famous by the movie of the same name.

After brief appearances by Executive Chairman Bill Ford and other company luminaries, the suits got out of the way for the real stars of the show: the car and Molly McQueen, granddaughter of Steve, whose stunt driving on the streets of San Francisco made the original car movie-star famous in 1968.

(The new Bullitt: available in ????)

McQueen admitted she never got to meet her famius granddad, but said her mother filled her in the details of his character. The unveiling of the new Bullitt – sale date unclear – took place at the North American International Auto Show in downtown Detroit, with approximately 3,000 media and auto industry insiders present.… Read the rest

2019 chevrolet silverado

Silverado sets high bar for tomorrow’s Ram launch

It’s unusual, but two brand new pickup trucks are being unveiled within just 24 hours of each other — the 2019 Silverado/Sierra 1500, currently the #2 best selling pickup in North America, and the 2019 Ram 1500, the #3 best seller.

We’re still waiting to see what the Ram holds, but it will be hard to top the Chevy/GMC, with its new straight-six diesel, 450 pound weight loss, greater cargo volume, power tailgate, and longer wheelbase.  The company is providing six different powertrains, including a 3-liter diesel, and a choice of two V8s, both with the ability to shut off any number of cylinders (rather than the Hemi’s four-at-a-time). There are to be six engine options — three already mentioned, and presumably either hybrid or turbocharged four or six cylinder additions. The diesel and 6.2 V8 come with a ten-speed automatic and stop-start systems.… Read the rest

Ford’s rare “stop driving” recall

After a second death caused by a poorly engineered Takata airbag inflator, Ford urged 2,900 North American Ranger pickup owners in North America to stop driving until they can get replacement parts.

Both deaths occurred 2006 Ranger pickups, with inflators built on the same day. So far, the inflators, which can fire metal fragments into the driver, have caused at least 21 deaths — all but these two in Hondas.

Ford’s new recall covers 2,900 vehicles in the highest-risk group; Ford had already recalled 391,000 vehicles for the airbag issue. The company will pay to have Rangers towed, or will send repair teams out to the trucks.… Read the rest